(Photo: Andrew J. Whitaker)
The city of Charleston, South Carolina unveiled the contents of a 130-year old time capsule this week. The 1,000-pound stone capsule was found under a former monument to John C. Calhoun. Calhoun was a U.S. Senator from South Carolina and a former vice president from 1825 to 1832. This week, the time capsule was opened to reveal three soldered tin boxes. In 1936, newspapers reported the location and contents of the time capsule listing a banner from Calhoun's funeral procession, a copy of his last speech, a lock of his hair and a Revolutionary War-era cannonball. Charleston's News 2 captured the opening.
Senior Archaeologist Eric Poplin says the cornerstone was laid down in Marion Square in the 1850s. Poplin says, "It's pretty exciting. This is something people haven't seen for over 130 years." The limestone and marble vault was opened last week at the office of Brockington & Associates, the Mount Pleasant firm charged with safely removing the capsule from the former monument. Poplin says they'll take great care in opening the metal boxes over the next few weeks to be sure preservation of the items is paramount. Mayor John Tecklenburg says he'd like the time capsule items stored with the 12-foot-tall bronze statue of Calhoun that was removed last year. He says, "It may be appropriate for these artifacts to go with the statue." Even though old newspaper clippings detail what was buried in the capsule, archaeologists are still excited to crack open the tin containers in the coming weeks.